5.12.2020

Get Out of Your League

At the beginning of the semester, I signed up for an intermediate photography class. The twist? I had never picked up a DSLR camera in my life. My school reached out to me because I didn’t submit a portfolio and asked me if I had the skills necessary to take the class. So I fibbed, “yes! of course!” I was up for the challenge and really wanted to take the class, so I wasn’t about to let a pre-req stop me. On the first day of class, I realized how truly out of my league I was. Most of the other kids were photography majors and this was their bread and butter. On top of that, there was a VERBAL skills assessment on the first day which I, by the grace of God and my very kind professor, was able to fumble my way through and pass. It was clear to everyone that I did NOT know what I was doing.

For the rest of the semester, I learned how freeing it is to take yourself out of the running for being the best. I didn’t have to focus on proving myself or looking over my shoulder because I already knew I was the worst one there, so I was able to take photos that expressed my passion and I was very free to fail. And I failed a lot! As an Enneagram 3 and someone who sometimes focuses too much on appearing “competent” (as if that is the highest virtue), I got uncomfortable. But just on the other side of that discomfort was a lot of FUN and joy. 

I turned in my final project, and I’m still the worst photographer in the class. BUT, I put my heart into it, improved immensely, and came out with a new skill. By having very little attention on me I felt the freedom to choose a topic near and dear to my heart. The prompt for our final projects was about Eros and Logos — love and reason. My project is about the thing that sits beautifully right on the tension between love and reason: faith. More specifically, it’s about the pursuit of God out of love when it makes very little reasonable sense — AKA in the middle of a pandemic! Below are a few of my favorites.

SO — what would happen if you got out of your league? If you took yourself out of the running? If instead of focusing on being the best you allowed yourself to fail and therefore experience freedom?




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